Leicester hijack Arsenal’s move for free agent Ryan Bertrand

Ryan Bertrand looks on during Southampton's Premier League clash with West Brom
Ryan Bertrand is wanted by Leicester and Arsenal (Picture: Getty)

Leicester are reportedly set to rival Arsenal for Ryan Bertrand’s signature and will offer the defender a deal to join them.

Bertrand, 31, has announced that he will bring an end to his seven-year spell with Southampton this summer and the experienced left-back will be available on a free transfer given his contract is due to expire next month.

Arsenal will look to bring in support for Kieran Tierney – with Sead Kolasinac expected to leave – and Bertrand has been approached over a possible switch to the Emirates, despite his ties to bitter rivals Chelsea.

However, the Gunners will likely face stiff competition for the full-back, with Serie A giants AC Milan and newly-crowned FA Cup winners Leicester also registering a strong interest.

Southampton Training Session
The experienced full-back is available on a free transfer (Picture: Getty)

According to talkSPORT, the Foxes are poised to offer Bertrand a one-year contract as Brendan Rodgers looks to provide cover for James Justin and Luke Thomas at left-back.

The report claims Bertrand – who has been capped 19 times by England – will wait to discover whether Leicester secure Champions League football before making a final decision on his future.

‘After many months of hard decision making, I have decided to leave Southampton Football Club,’ Bertrand told his followers on social media last week.

‘This has only been decided in the last 48 hours and comments that I had not accepted an offer previously are not true.

‘I want to thank all the fans for welcoming me to this football club and supporting me endlessly. All the support staff behind the scenes, I thank you.

‘Also, special thanks to the Liebherr family.’

Mikel Arteta and Brendan Rodgers look on after Arsenal's Premier League clash with Leicester
Arsenal and Leicester are set to battle it out for Bertrand this summer (Picture: Getty)

Bertrand broke into Chelsea’s first-team 15 years ago and enjoyed nine separate loan spells with the likes of Bournemouth, Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa before joining Southampton on a permanent basis in January 2015.

On Bertrand’s impending departure, Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl said: ‘He was here for seven years. Like always in football, things are coming to an end.

‘I think he did a good job for this club. Finally, we have to move on, like always in life, and you have to start something new, and this is what we have decided as a club and we will replace him in the summer.

‘It is normal in football I think to start new things and, if we have the chance to bring somebody in in the summer in this position, a younger Ryan Bertrand if you want, that helps us with his quality or his level of performances, then we can develop this young lad and then we maybe get later an even better player.’

Pressed on Southampton’s search for a replacement left-back, Hasenhuttl added: ‘We were very far along in the way of bringing somebody in so I’m sure that we will find a good solution for the summer.

‘We don’t want to discuss any person, any options we have, but there are some very good ones, they are in our financial limits, and this is important for us that we find a good package that fits us.’

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